Central Florida Landscapes ENEWS

November 2016

In This Issue...
Landscape U - Diagnosing Problems with Palms
Is a Giant Wasp Making You Nervous?
Nursery Container Irrigation App Now Available
Native Mealybug Found on Native Grasses
New Publications
Upcoming Events...
...Diagnosing Problems with Palms

November 16, 2016
8:00 am-12:00 pm
CEUs Available!
Get the dirt on PALM PROBLEM DIAGNOSITICS with Dr. Monica Elliott & Dr. Tim Broschat in this second class of our Landscape U series. CEU's Available!
To register, click here!
8:00-8:30 am - Registration
8:30-9:00 am - Hands-on Problem Identification with Samples
9:00-10:00 am - Diagnosing Problems of Palms
10:00-10:15 am - Break
10:15-11:15 am - Diagnosing Nutritional Problems of Palms
11:15-12:00 Noon - Hands-on Identification Review and a Case Study

2 Commercial L&O, Ltd. L&O, Ltd. Commercial Landscape Maintenance,  O&T, Private Ag, Right of Way

1 Ltd. Urban Fertilizer
Is a Giant Wasp Making You Nervous?
By: Adam Dale , PhD, UF/IFAS Extension
Have you ever seen a wasp nearly the length of a large paperclip on the ground or flying around? Maybe it was a little standoffish as you stood too close to its perch. Or maybe it was attacking an insect that was even larger than itself. If so, you may have come across Sphecius speciosus, commonly known as a cicada killer wasp. Like many other wasps, these are parasitoids - insects that deposit their offspring in or on living hosts. Parasitoids are among the most common forms of biological control regulating the abundance of other insects. Cicada killers are one of the largest examples of parasitoids in Florida.
Unlike some wasps, cicada killers are solitary insects, meaning that the females build individual nests and hunt for their own food to feed their offspring. A single female will create about 4 nests in her lifetime, which can extend multiple feet into the soil and have several chambers for offspring. When making a nest, the female may excavate up to half a gallon of soil, which ends up as a rather large mound of dirt. This nest-building can be problematic for some people, particularly in highly managed areas like golf course fairways or greens.
Despite this nuisance, cicada killer wasps do provide some benefits - they attack cicadas. Cicadas are the source of that extremely loud buzzing sound coming from the trees in the backyard all summer. Cicadas are harmless to people, but do feed on plant sap from woody plants like trees and shrubs. They also saw into branches to deposit their eggs, which can cause problems for the ornamental plant industry.
When the female wasp is ready to reproduce, she hunts down a cicada and uses her powerful grip to hold it in place. She injects it with paralyzing venom. The wasp will then make the laborious journey carrying the cicada back to her burrow. A single female may collect up to 100 cicadas in her lifetime. Deep in the burrow, the wasp will lay an egg at the base of the cicada's middle leg. She will then leave, close up the chamber, and never return. Her egg soon becomes a larva, which gradually consumes the cornucopia of cicadas she left behind. Once the larva is finished eating, it spins a cocoon, pupates, and spends the rest of the season underground in solitude.
Now the important question (for most people) is: Will these giant wasps sting you? The answer is no. Both male and female cicada killers are relatively harmless. Males are territorial, but they have no stinger. Females do have a stinger but will not use it on a human unless forced to (for example, if you grab it).
You can read the full blog article here.

For more information about cicada killers and other interesting insects, visit UF Featured Creatures webpage. 
Nursery Container Irrigation App Now Available

This tool is designed to provide sprinkler irrigation run times for a range of plant production conditions typically found in an outdoor commercial container nursery. Because daily irrigation demand varies with weather, the tool automatically acquires weather data from a FAWN (Florida Automated Weather Network) weather station to estimate irrigation run times. The FAWN weather station can be automatically selected based on the user's current location or can be manually selected from a drop-down list. Besides weather, daily irrigation demand is affected by plant production conditions in the irrigated area. For this tool, plant production conditions include container size, container spacing, plant size, percent plant cover, and irrigation application rate. The user can set default production conditions for trade (1 and 3 gallon containers) so that irrigation run times can be quickly acquired for their particular situation. Irrigation run time outputs are clearly displayed on the main page for a range of container spacing arrangements. On the main page, the user can override FAWN rainfall with rain recorded on site to provide a more accurate irrigation recommendation. 

Click here to order from the Apple or Google Store.
Native Mealybug Found on Native Grasses
By Beth Bolles, UF/IFAS Extension Escambia County
Muhly grass (Muhlenbergia capillaris) is a generally pest
The mealybug is white with fine filaments. Photo_ Beth Bolles
free plant; however, we are seeing the native mealybug, Stemmatomerinx acircula, on plants in various landscapes (including the Exploration Gardens at the UF/IFAS Extension Orange County office). Insects are on the leaves and are grey with white wax that may have some filaments. You may also see long ovisacs on the leaves that contain eggs and crawlers. The native fakahatchee grass may also be a host. Specimens in both full and shade can be affected, as well as mass plantings. At this time, there is not a lot of information on why some plantings are heavily infested and others are not.
Muhly grass infested with mealybug. Photo_ Beth Bolles
Since mealybugs are piercing, sucking insects, there may be some browning of leaves, especially on less vigorous plants. You may have to remove and destroy plants that are heavily infested and declining. In situations where treatment is warranted, you may choose a systemic insecticide or oil spray.
New Publications
A dichotomous key is a tool used to help identify an unknown organism. This twelve-page fact sheet features a key of leaf characteristics for ten common broadleaf trees in the Tampa Bay Area. Accurately navigating this series of paired, either-or choices about leaf characteristics will lead the reader to identify the correct tree from the group of ten.

Several plant species that are invasive in natural areas of public lands also occur on private property. Invasive plants on private property that thrive within both landscaped and surrounding natural areas can serve as a source of infestation to other natural areas. Therefore, property owners are encouraged to remove invasive plant species from both areas. This 5-page fact sheet is a major revision that discusses different herbicides, hand-pulling, stump grinding, foliar herbicide application, cut stump herbicide application, basal bark herbicide application, hack-and-squirt, frill, or girdle herbicide application, licenses and training, and control of specific invasive plants.
Upcoming Events 
Check out our NEW & IMPROVED website, http://orange.ifas.ufl.edu/cflandscapes.
2016 Central Florida Pesticide Training & Testing Schedule -   Click here
First Thursday of every month at 8:30am - Commercial Pesticide Applicator License Testing at the UF/IFAS Extension Orange County. 8:30am-12:30pm. Pre-registration required. Must bring a valid picture ID and voucher. 
Obtain a voucher and register at: http://pesticideexam.ifas.ufl.edu
*No Testing November 3rd - resume regular schedule December 1st*
November 10 - Review & Exams Limited Certification Pesticide Applicator Licenses at UF/IFAS Extension Orange County, Orlando. 8:00am-4:00pm. CEUs Available!
Registration: Click here
November 16, December 13, 2016 & February 21, March 21, April 21, 2017 - Landscape U - Diagnosing Problems at the UF/IFAS Extension Orange County, Orlando. 8:00am-12:00pm. Take one or take them all! CEUs Available!
Registration: Click here 

November 16 - CEU Day and Worker Protection Standard Train the Trainer at the UF/IFAS Extension Seminole County, Sanford. 8:00am-4:00pm. CEUs Available! Registration: Click here
November 29 - Review & Exams for Aquatic/Right of Way/Natural Areas Pesticide Applicator Licenses at UF/IFAS Extension Orange County, Orlando. 8:00am-4:00pm. CEUs Available!
Registration: Click here
December 8 - Green Industries Best Management Practices (GI-BMP) at the UF/IFAS Extension Orange County, Orlando. 7:45am-4:00pm. CEUs Available!
Registration: Click here

UF/IFAS Extension Orange County Classes & Events


Do you want to find out what other kinds of classes the UF/IFAS Extension Orange County has to offer? Click the logo below to see class schedules and up-to-date information on horticulture, agriculture, family & consumer sciences and 4-H.  Visit us to find Solutions for Your Life!


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  Until Next Time,
Celeste 2012 
Celeste White
Commercial Landscape Management
UF/IFAS  Extension  Orange County 
6021 S. Conway Rd
Orlando, FL 32812
Phn: 407-254-9210
Fax: 407-850-5125
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